I last posted about 2 weeks after my dad's funeral. We were about to go and visit friends. We had plans for my mom to visit this summer. Things were looking more hopeful.
The day after we got home from a wonderful time with our friends, the Man found Bart, our beloved black cat, hiding behind the sofa, with poop and pee on the floor. When we went to get him we found that his back legs were paralyzed. A half hour later the vet was telling me he'd had a stroke, and that he had congestive heart failure with a lot of fluid in his lungs. An hour after that, we were all there with him, saying goodbye.
We were and still are devastated. He was about 13 and had been with us since JR was a toddler, and we didn't see this coming. More about him some other time. Because there was more to come.
Just as we were starting to deal with this, my mother went w/my brother's family to his country place for a weekend. Having neglected my parents shamefully for the last 10 years, my brother is loaded with guilt and was making an effort to get my mother more into his life. What he wasn't planning on was her tripping on his deck and breaking her femur. She ended up in Penn State Hershey Hospital--more about that later too.
I drove up. He stayed through the day she had her very successful surgery, and the next morning, but then he was off. I stayed in his house. The girls had the adventure of riding the bus from DC to Harrisburg and stayed with me. In between visits to Mom we went to favorite places in Lancaster County.
Mom got moved to rehab literally right down the street from Hershey Park. We stayed the rest of the weekend and then went home.
As she's been in rehab I have been on the phone with her nightly. My brother was there with his family for a few days, but I've been driving up on Thursday evenings, spending Friday running errands for her and visiting, and then going home Friday evening.
In between visits I've been dealing with work and home. Most of my programs were outside people and staff helped host them for me.
Home has been another matter. JR has been utterly lost without Bart. It's been a hard friend year for her--7th grade girls turned mean on her this spring when she was dealing with family things--and she and he always bonded. .She's ended up talking to the same counselors that SC has been talking to. SC herself has done better, but she has her own stresses, and the fact that neither girl has much to do this summer has been hard in itself.
Meanwhile, until this week the kitchen has continued as it has been since late April. The paint and plaster are wonderful, the leaks are gone, but the kitchen cabinets are still down, there's boxes all over the living/dining area and I want my kitchen back. We've gotten two out of four cabinets up, so there IS progress at last, but it's taken a long time.
And it doesn't help that the late June derecho storm brought many trees down in the woods that adjoin our back yard. Not the damn silver maple that has ruined our patio--though one big branch crashed over the roof and filled up our front yard--but it totalled my deck box, our grill and some of my very expensive planters. And the cut logs and half felled trees are making the view out our windows ugly, ugly, ugly.
Mom gets out of rehab Monday and we are going to take her home. JR and I will stay a few days, but SC will probably stay longer to keep her company. It's going to be more of a challenge for Mom than she realizes--she is going to need to use a wheeled walker for a while and I don't think how she gets how that's going to make simple tasks difficult. But she'll be home in her own house and eating her own food and that's good.
If all goes well, we are going to Chincoteague in 2 weeks. The kitchen will be done by then and while we are gone my cleaning service will finally be able to come in again.
And I say "if all goes well" because I don't want to be superstitious or fearful, but I am.
So much has gone wrong this summer.